State superintendent Tom Torlakson issued recommendations for a massive overhaul of standardized testing that will be taking place at all California public schools, in a news conference Tuesday.
The move is part of California’s alignment with the national Common Core State Standards, a new academic consortium of 45 states that are developing national standards for academic achievement.
Locally, Superintendent Marc Winger prasied the move, but acknowledged that it would be a massive, multi-year undertaking, which is reflected in the state superintendent’s report.
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“That’s huge, when you have a change in standards like this and moving teachers from what we’ve really refined and moving them into the new standard, it’s a huge endeavor,” Winger said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but we think they’re the right direction.”
The new testing is a drastic change from the multiple-choice questions that students are used to, and will feature new questions that will ask students to display more critical thinking and problem solving skills.
The move was part of California’s “No Child Left Offline” intiative, which is meant to modernize classrooms statewide and make coimputer and Internet access available to every student.
“Multiple-choice, fill-in-the-bubble tests alone simply cannot do the job anymore, and it’s time for California to move forward with assessments that measure the real-world skills our students need to be ready for a career and for college,” Torlakson said.
The new, adaptive testing would be computer-based and replace the paper-and-pencil STAR tests that have been the state standard for gauging academic achievement for more than a decade.
“As for the technology, we’re looking to get one-to-one computer access for every student in California,” Torlakson said in a phone interview. “As for local school districts, we urging them to make the investment and to have the state look at how we can help them make that investment.”
Locally, several school districts have passed bond measures that will help in financing the new technology required by the system.
However, others are looking for ways to scale back expenditure, in spite of the passage of Proposition 30, because of the uncertainty associated with the tax revenue it may generate.
Proposition 30, which was passd on November’s ballot, raised the state’s sales tax and increased the income tax rate on individuals making more than $250,000 per year.
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- Article Source: Newsroom
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